Leighann Lassiter, the director of animal cruelty policy at the Humane Society of the United States, says that other states have pushed for similar laws, and yet they’ve never met the level of opposition that Morrell’s bill has met in Louisiana.
Gene Mills, the leader of the Louisiana Family Forum, is also whipping up opposition to the bill, insisting that it is a trick by liberals to give tacit approval to homosexual acts. Mills says he believes the bill goes too far by decoupling the anti-sodomy and anti-bestiality provisions, and that the current “crimes against nature” law reflects the “community morals” of the state of Louisiana.
Morrell insists that he is not trying to remove the prohibition on consensual sodomy, and, according to the Times-Picayune, even urged Senate lawmakers to reject an amendment that would have removed the anti-sodomy provision. He also agreed to amend the bill further to placate Republicans concerned that the bill’s prohibitions on being near dead animals (as well as live ones) might actually prevent people convicted under the statute from being near food.
“I don’t know how to answer a conspiracy theory,” Morrell says. “There’s no evidence that the bill does that. What you hear from people is that they don’t trust me because I’m a Democrat from New Orleans.
“The bestiality law as currently stated is in an unconstitutional statute,” Morrell added. We already have a Supreme Court decision on the books saying that you cannot have sodomy laws on the books. Bestiality is literally tied to the sodomy law that was ruled unconstitutional, so I am removing bestiality from the unconstitutional statute and giving it its own statute.”
The bill now heads to the House floor, where it is expected to be voted on in the coming days.